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Elijah The Tishbite (Part 9) – What Are You Doing Here


A man lies underneath a broom tree in the Negev desert. Hy became depressed, quit his job and fled.

He gets a fright when someone woke him up. Initially he thought it was an enemy, seeking to kill him. But instead he received a divine smile instead of a dagger in his heart as well as a meal from heaven’s kitchen.

After the delicious meal Elijah slept again. The same angel he woke him up previously does it again.

1 Kings 19:7,8 And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.

He stretches and said to himself: “I never had a meal this in all my lfe.”

He looks in the direction of Beersheba and asked himself I he should go back. “No I am not ready to go back. My hurt and disappointment lies to deep.”

“Couldn’t the Lord prevented that wicked Jezebel to lead the people of Israel into idolatry? Why didn’t He prevent her to send the death threat?”

The traumatic experiences became the main focus of his life.

By the way getting up in arms about the trial of life would not bring you anywhere. It takes more energy to struggle with the negative than it take to trust God


Elijah would rather go for the 330 kilometers desert marathon than taking the shorter smooth road to Jezreel.

Because he lost confidence in God, he runs deeper and deeper into the cruel desert of nothingness.

And when you and I lose this precious of trusting God, we too will disappear in the deserts of meaninglessness

It took Elijah 40 days to cover 330 kilometers to get to Horeb – an average of 8 kilometers per day.

Maybe he thought of the 40 years that Israel spent in this same desert. Every day God wrought a miracle by supplying two million people with food.

And every day that Elijah walked in the desert was also a miracle. The food which the angel gave him enabled him to walk in sand and stones.


Every time I visit Horeb, also called Sinai, my thoughts go out to Moses and Elijah who came here.

Both of them failed and fled to this mountain. Moses after he killed an Egyptian and Elijah because of a death threat.

It was at Sinai that God revealed his character of power and holiness; it was here that He also demonstrated His love and willingness to forgive repentant sinners.

He has not changed and He longs to demonstrate His love and salvation to you and me.


I had the privilege to another mountain, Mount Tabor the Mount of Transfiguration. Guess who visited here?

Luke 9:28-31 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. 30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

“Spoke of His decease?” Greek?

It was going to be an exodus from His holiness and entering our…

An exodus from His sinlessness to my…

An exodus from His life of perfection to my life of…

Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.” {DA 25.2}

Why did Jesus go to this secluded mountain? He was just about to be crucified, take our sins upon Him and to be rejected by His Father. Do you think His mind was in turmoil?

Why did God the Father assign these two men to go and support His Son? What common trials did they experience?

While visiting Tabor in the Jezreel valley I thought of God limitless grace and the way He treats repentant sinners.

Both Moses and Elijah were reinstated as servants of the Most High God.

The work of reformation begun by Elijah was in some way a type of what Christ was going to accomplish

In which way was the work of Moses in freeing Israel from slavery a type of what Jesus came to do?

Does the devil tell you that you are too wicked to be used by God?

Tell him about the story of Elijah and Moses.

“Satan it is written: Moses en Elijah eceived a second chance and did a great job for God.”

My dear friend. We serve of God of second chances and more second chances, and more…


In my mind’s eye I see Elijah looking up to the majestic mountain in front of him. He must have thought of Moses who received the ten commandments from God.

While he looks into the deep valleys he thinks of the words God spoke to Moses:

Exodus 34:5-7 Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

Elijah realizes that is where God spoke and wrote His holy law. There is still some turmoil in his mind – Jezebel. He blames God and this queen for his failures.

Can you him climbing the mountain. There are scholars who believe that he entered the same cave where Moses hid when He saw God’s glory.

He is reminded of the experience of Moses:

Exodus 33:21-23 And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Elijah steps into the cave and looks for a place where could sleep for the night. Before going to be bed he looks at the beautiful pastel colours of the setting son on the rock.

God was speaking to our depressed friend through beauty.

1 Kings 19:9 And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”


While visiting up here, a thought came to me:

God is tirelessly on the heels of depressed guilt ridden people. And when they come to a cul se sac…He meets them at the junction.

If you have come to a cul-de-sac of broken relationships with people, with God, with yourself, I have surprisingly good news for you.

If you are in a dark cave of depression I want to listen carefully to the echo from Sinai. “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

But I want you to listen again and put your name to the question: “what are you doing here…” your name?

It does not matter what the causes are for us sitting in a dark caves of despair. What matters is the voice of our loving God tenderly speaking to you.


We should not have done what we did. When I look back at my mistakes I discover that executing duty is easier than running away.

When God sent Elijah to the brook of Cherith it was a hard thing to do, but he obeyed. But he had peace of mind.

It was not easy for Elijah to go to a poor widow in a heathen land and ask for a piece of bread.

But Elijah had peace of mind for he doing what God had asked him to do.

It was a challenge to confront the king, the priests of Baal and the people on Carmel.

But Elijah did what the Lord had asked him to do and he enjoyed…

But when Elijah left his post of duty, peace of mind also left him.

Listen to his pathetic explanation for running away from duty when God asked him “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Verse 10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”

“So Lord this is where this fugitive is right now. At the end of my tether.”

What would tell God if He poses the same question to you this very moment: “Where are you?” By the way He knows exactly where you are this very moment but He want to…

But besides being depressed, Elijah also became bitter. Negative emotions tend to call other negative emotions to join them.

In a way Elijah blamed God for not looking better after him.

How do you react when someone blames you for something you have not caused?

How did God react to these unpleasant remarks of Elijah?

Verses 11,12 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by,


There were two important lessons Elijah had to learn: how fragile and sinful he was; and how unbelievable good and forgiving God is.

He had to rediscover his spiritual bankruptcy so that he could appreciate God’s wealth of love anew.

How would God go about to impress Elijah with these concepts? And what about you and me?


God calls Elijah to come to the entrance of the cave.

Verse 11 And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind

Can you hear the sound of this tornado? Trees are uprooted. Huge rocks are blown out of their positions and roll with a thunder to the foot of the mountain.

Elijah tries in vain to find the presence of God in the commotion. The same kind of noise was raging inside of him.

Verse 11 and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.

Elijah had to grasp to something when the earth began to shake. Neither did he hear the voice of God in this terrible shaking and noise.

Verse 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire

Elijah couldn’t see God in this blinding display offire which consumed everything in its wake. There is a relationship between the external fire and the internal fire that consumes his peace.

Maybe Elijah wondered what would happen next.

Verses 12,13 and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

After the deafening, eye blinding phenomena of nature these is suddenly an unbelievable heavenly calm.

And in this celestial calm Elijah experiences for the first time the serenity of God’s presence.

The highly strung, intense, broken, impatient Elijah breaks down in the quiet presence of the Lord.

Can you see our friend?

Hy wraps his face in his mantel and begins to shake as his cries and cries and sobs and sobs.

All his pent-up emotions, pain, frustration and aggression which separated him from God for such a long time are gone.

God embraces his depressed servant in His arms of forgiveness, fills him with peace, forgives him and gives him a new beginning

Herbert se sonnet.
But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild
At every word,
Methought I heard one calling ‘Child!’ 35
And I replied, ‘My Lord!’

The Elijah messages teaches the its messengers may become discourage and run away.

But at the same time this message tells us that God will not allow Satan or their depression to destroy them.

In His still sweet voice He speaks to every discouraged person, saying: “Where are you?”

“Even though you have fallen and became depressed and ran away, I still regard you very highly and I love you dearly. I have a work for you. I want to use you.”

Updated on 21st Mar 2022

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